Help Refugees welcomed the Home Affairs committee report, which calls our government and the EU’s response to the refugee crisis “lamentable”.
The report highlights a whole host of failings, none more so than the failure to bring the 157 unaccompanied children with immediate family in the UK (who have the legal right to come to the UK under Dublin 3) to be reunited with their families here in Britain. Instead these children, along with the other 451 unaccompanied children in Calais, will sleep tonight in the mud and cold, at grave risk of exploitation and with not enough food for one meal a day. As our governments continue to delay the refugee family reunion process (as demonstrated by this week’s Court of Appeal judgement to overturn the Zat ruling), these children continue to risk their lives every night trying to get to their families in the UK.
On the existence of the camp in Calais and the living conditions:
“That there are unofficial migrant camps at the border of two of Europe’s wealthiest nations is a matter of serious regret and concern….It is clear that there are many people in these camps entitled to humanitarian protection or refugee status, including some who should have their claims processed in the UK.”
On the unaccompanied children in Calais with family members in the UK:
“We agree with the Bishop of Durham that the 157 unaccompanied children already in Calais who have family members in the UK “should already have arrived” in the UK. The Government should, as a one-off action, accept all of these children into the UK now.”
On the unaccompanied minors unaccounted for in the EU:
“At least 10,000 minors are estimated to have gone missing since arriving in Europe. EU countries must do more to protect these highly vulnerable young people. The Government has announced a £10 million Refugee Children Fund for vulnerable children in the EU. This should be used, and if necessary augmented, to ensure that effective support and protection are provided, and that this extremely serious problem is properly addressed.”
Help Refugees supports these findings. We continue to provide humanitarian aid across Europe and beyond. While our governments fail to take responsibility for the human rights of refugees, in particular the highly vulnerable, we are committed to campaigning for them.